Tampa Bay (62-81) at Boston (87-57)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 61° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Thu Sep 16, 2004
  • TV: FSFL, NESN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Curt Schilling will try to become the majors’ first 20-game winner as the Boston Red Sox tune up for their big weekend in New York with the finale of a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park.

Schilling (19-6) is trying to notch 20 wins for the third time in his career. The hard-throwing right-hander won 22 games in 2001 and 23 in 2002 for the Arizona Diamondbacks. While losing out on Cy Young honors to former Arizona teammate Randy Johnson in both of those seasons, Schilling has a legitimate chance to win the award this year.

He has been a key element in Boston’s playoff push. The Red Sox have won 17 of their last 21 games, and are four games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees with a three-game series in the Bronx looming.

“I wanted to come here and I wanted to help this team get to a World Series,” Schilling said. “Right now, it’s working out that way. We’re playing great baseball and things are going well for us.”

Schilling is 10-1 with a 3.69 ERA in 15 starts at Fenway this season. He’s won six decisions in a row overall—his longest streak since he also won six straight with Arizona in 2002.

Manny Ramirez hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly, and Kevin Millar and Mark Bellhorn had two-run homers Wednesday to lift Boston to an 8-6 victory over Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox avoided losing three straight for the first time since July 2.

“It wasn’t pretty, but (it was) a good win for the team,” said Millar, who hit his 100th career homer.

Boston’s next homer will be its 200th, giving the club consecutive 200-homer seasons for the first time in team history.

Jorge Cantu hit a two-run homer for the Devil Rays, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Hendrickson Bal vs. C. Schilling Bos
10-15 Record 21-6
4.81 ERA 3.26
87 K 203
46 BB 35
1.40 WHIP 1.06